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Blog  »  September 2016
Sep 16

Posted by
Laura Murphy

How your Company can benefit from staff induction

Many companies spend considerable time and money finding and recruiting the right staff to join their team. Disappointingly however, very few companies take the time to provide proper induction for their new staff.

Induction is about welcoming and introducing a new employee to your company.

A good induction process will boost staff retention rates and productivity levels enabling new recruits to contribute to the bottom line much quicker. 

Statistics show that individuals decide whether or not they feel at home in an organisation within the first three weeks in a company. Furthermore, new hires who go through a well planned induction program are 58% more likely to remain with a company for up to three years.

What should be included in induction?

The induction programme should be tailored to suit your organization and the role being hired for.

However, as a guide, the following should be considered:

  • Administration: contract of employment, company policies & procedures, health and safety.
  • Company overview: your products and services, your history.
  • Full office tour and introduction to colleagues and management.
  • Job training: specific role training as well as general office / IT training - this may be ongoing over a number of weeks.
  • Feedback: regular catch-ups during the probation period to assess how the employee is doing. Positive feedback will help build their confidence, constructive feedback will help them improve.

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Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Sep 16

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Using CCTV in the Workplace – What you need to know

Whilst commonly used across many Irish workplaces, the use of CCTV raises issues regarding data privacy for both the employer and employee. This is particularly true considering the increasing capabilities of CCTV including face recognition and voice recording capabilities.

The Data Protection Commissioner recently issued new guidelines in relation to CCTV which apply to its use in the workplace.

Key features of these guidelines include:

  • CCTV use must be justified
    • Example: if monitoring for security reasons, CCTV should address specific concerns that arose prior to the installation of the system.
  • Images captured must be reasonable
    • Example: if using CCTV externally every effort should be taken not to capture passers-by or neighbouring property.
  • Detailed assessments should be conducted
    • Where CCTV in place in the workplace employers should be able to show that:
      • A risk assessment was conducted to justify the need for CCTV,
      • A privacy impact assessment was conducted,
      • A policy should be in place for staff which includes details on why CCTV is in place, where it is, how it is captured, who has access to the data, and how long it is retained for,
      • There is evidence of previous incidents giving rise to security and/or health and safety concerns,
      • Clear signage is in place indicating where recording is in operation.

If you use CCTV in your workplace and would like further information, a full guide for Data Controllers is available on the Data Commissioner’s website.

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Posted in Bright Contracts News, Employee Handbook

Sep 16

Posted by
Lorraine McEvoy

Do you know the correct procedures for an employee dismissal?

The Workplace Relations Commission has awarded €20,000 for unfair dismissal to a former manager of a fast food outlet.

The WRC found that the employee was denied “natural justice” when dismissed by her employer.

In a submission, the ex-manager admitted that she left the fryer on but stated, “It was the first time that had ever happened to me on a shift.” No damage was caused to the fryer due to being left on overnight.

The un-named owner of the fast food franchise informed the employee on the night he sacked her, that he didn’t think she knew how serious it was as the place could have burned down. But the ex-manager recalled another occasion where electrical items were left on all night, in this instance his response was that it wouldn’t be a bad thing if the place burned down.

Although the ex-manager requested a reason for her dismissal, the franchise owner stated that he didn’t have to give her one and that was the end of it.

The hearing was informed that the relationship between employer and employee was “difficult” since ownership changed in February 2015.

There were no representatives of the company business at the WRC hearing. The WRC adjudication officer stated, “Based on the uncontested evidence, I find that the complainant was unfairly dismissed by the respondent.”

Unfair dismissal legislation dictates that when dismissing an employee fair procedures must be adhered to. Upon starting employment, every employee should be given details of the Company's dismissal procedures in writing. If you do not have a dismissal procedure, putting one in place should be a top priority. 

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Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Sep 16

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Top 5 reasons you need to issue contracts of employment

Contracts of employment are the cornerstone upon which the relationship between employers and their employees are built. All employees, whether full-time, part-time, or fixed-term workers should receive a contract of employment. Below are five reasons why employers should have signed contracts of employment.

  • A Legal Requirement: within the first 2 months of an employee starting employment an employer must issue them with a written terms and conditions, most commonly done through the contract of employment. Under the Terms of Employment Act, there is certain specific information that should form part of the written terms and conditions.
  • Cost of Non-Compliance: if an employer is found not to have issued contracts of employment or is found to have issued contracts that are not fully compliant they could face costly fines of up to 4 weeks’ pay for each employee.   
  • Employer Protection: In addition to compulsory statutory clauses, employers can include extra terms in the contract which will offer them further protection 

    e.g. A Confidentiality Clause: prevents employees from publicly disclosing confidential company information. Increased notice of termination: employers commonly set the notice employers are required to give should they wish to leave. Helping the employer ensure they have time to arrange alternative cover. Restrictive Covenant Clauses: place restrictions on ex-employers from setting up competing for business or in some cases, from working with competitors for a specific period of time. 

  • Reduces Confusion & Helps avoid Costly Tribunal Cases: In the absence of written terms, implied terms and conditions can exist, therefore employers can rely upon custom and practice. Where custom and practice exists problems can occur when the employer and the employee disagree with regards to what the terms are. In the case of New Cityview Press Ltd. -v- Breslin, there was a dispute regarding bonus payments. As no written policies existed outlining bonus payments, the judge stated that in order to establish a “fair, reasonable, just approach” he had to find in favour of the employees.
  • Signed Contracts are Best: The employer should keep a copy of the contract, signed by both parties on file. A signed contract acts as proof that the employee has received their terms and conditions. In the case of Kerry Foods -v- Donnegan, the employer argued that contracts of employment existed. However, as there was no evidence that the employee had received the contract the judge found in favour of the employee.

Contracts of employment are very important legal documents, in order to ensure comprehensive protection, it is always advisable that employers seek external assistance. External assistance does not have to mean costly legal fees. Bright Contracts provides fully inclusive, professionally drafted documentation for just €149 + VAT.

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Posted in Contract of employment, Employment Contract